UT board raises tuition, DiPietro’s salary by a little bit (1.8 percent and $26K)

The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved Thursday a $2.3 billion budget for 2017-2018 that includes a 1.8 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students and a $25,667 annual pay raise for UT President Joe DiPietro, reports the News Sentinel.

“This is the lowest (tuition) recommendation we’ve made in more than three decades,” DiPietro said during Thursday’s annual board meeting at the UT Institute of Agriculture. “We’re working hard to keep other fee increases low. I’m proud to be a national leader in efforts to hold down tuition increases in a time when stories of high student debt are making headlines.”

The budget includes $582.5 million in state appropriations, a more than six percent increase in state funding compared to 2016-2017, as well as $29.3 million to be used for faculty and staff salary increases across the system.

The tuition increase is expected to generate an additional $11.4 million for UT in 2017-2018.

At UT Knoxville, where tuition and mandatory fees for most in-state undergraduates is currently $12,724 per year, the increase will bring that number to $12,970. Out-of-state students across the system will see a one percent or less increase in tuition and mandatory fees, which at UT Knoxville would bring the current rate of $31,144 to $31,390.

Those figures do not include housing and meal plan costs, which are also going to be increasing for most students across the UT system. At UT Knoxville, Chancellor Beverly Davenport has approved a six percent increase in cost for meal plans and a 2.27 increase in housing costs.

… The board Thursday also approved a $25,667 raise for UT President Joe DiPietro, bringing his base salary to $539,011. As part of his contract, DiPietro, who has served as president since 2011, is eligible for a five percent raise each year so long as the board finds his performance satisfactory each year.

In 2017-2018, he will also be eligible for a performance-based bonus of up to $128,336. Nine other top administrators are also eligible for similar performance-based bonuses next year. A plan for what those bonuses, which would be awarded later in the year if the administrators meet certain performance goals, was also approved by the board Thursday.

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